There is no denying that the digital revolution has completely changed our way of life. Indeed, it has touched almost every aspect of our lives, and that includes the way that fitness centres and boxes are run. These days, the use of gym management software is widespread, but how can you tell which software is best for you and your fitness centre?

What is gym management software and why do you need it?

Gym management software is designed to help fitness centre owners manage their gyms more efficiently. The idea is to group together all the tasks into a single program to make day-to-day management much easier. These programs can normally handle a range of simple and complex tasks, such as administrative duties, activity planning, bookings or even activities to help build a better relationship with your customers.

When should you think about getting gym management software?

Whether your gym has 50 users or 50,000, you are always going to get at least some benefit from gym management software. However, owners of smaller centres tnd to be a little reluctant to pay for software when they have so few regular users.  How many users should you have before you consider gym management software? It will depende on your particular fitness centre, but if you already have at least 100 users, you will probably want to think seriously about buying a program.

What are the benefits of gym management software?

If you are one of those people who manage their fitness centre manually using an Excel spreadsheet, you might be asking yourself whether gym management software is really worth it. The simple answer is yes.

 

  • Automated tasks give you more time for yourself. One basic thing that an Excel spreadsheet cannot do for you is automation. Automation allows you to carry out the tasks with the absolute minimum intervention. This saves time, means your staff can be more productive and provides a better all-round user experience.
  • Greater supervision of your gym. By managing all the different tasks and processes with a single program, you have a much clearer and comprehensive view of everything that happens in your gym, and this will help you optimise processes and make your business more profitable.
  • Less confusion. With all the stress and strife involved in managing a fitness centre, anyone can make simple mistakes. Gym management software helps you to avoid those human errors, and this allows your customers to be more autonomous without you needing to intervene all the time.
  • More autonomy for your customers. Not only do you save time; so do your customers. With gym management softare, they can decide how and when they use the gym without needing to go through you.
  • It improves the user experience. Gym management software can help you to maintain a better, closer relationship with your users, and these days, this is very important. The more connected your users feel to your gym, the more likely they are to keep coming back.
  • Greater customer acquisition and retention. Gaining and retaining customers is the most basic thing that business needs to do, and once again, gym managment software can help. The easier it is to register, make payments and make bookings, the larger your customer base will be.

How to choose the best gym management software?

Now that you have heard about the benefits, you might be wondering how to tell which software package is right for you or what aspects ou need to consider when choosing one.

To select the best software for you, you first need to think very carefully about your needs and those of your business.

  1. Perform a SWOT analysis of yourself as a manager.

A professional SWOT analysis will help you to identify your strenghts and weakness, and this way, you will know exactly what you need in order to improve. A SWOT analysis looks at four key factors: Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats..

2. Consider the different functionalities that you need.

Having carried out a SWOT analysis, you will be able to identify what functionalities you need. But you should also think about what specific functionalities could be useful for you and your fitness centre. For example, some centres might find acess controls very useful whilst others might see them as a plus but not essential.

3. Consider how well the software can integrate with your existing systems.

When it comes to deciding on a software package, one key factor will be how compatible it is with other systems that you already have. The right gym management software for your needs to be able to integrate seamlessly with other important systems like access controls or card readers.

4. Data migration

Another basic function that is important to bear in mind is how easy it is to import and export you data. If you already have some form of gym management software and you are looking to change, you will want to know that you can import your existing data so that you can pick up where you left off. Similarly, you might change software in the future, so you will want to know that you can extract and export your data in the future without any problems.

5. System access.

This is something that you might not have thought about, but there are two different types of software. Firstly, there are cloud-based programs that you can access from any internet-enables device. Then, there are software programs that are locally installed on your computer. Paying for a licence to install a program once on your computer is not the same as paying for a licence which you can use anywhere. This is definitely something to bear in mind when choosing gym management software.

6. Security

This is one of the most important points. Your software will stores your customers’ personal information, which is protected by law. It is really important to be sure that the software you choose complies with the data protection legislation in your country and make sure that it includes reliable backup systems.

7. Training.

You might think that gym management software is straightforward to use, but you will still need to learn how to use it. Some packages are more complex than others, but the key thing is to find the right package according to your needs. For example, software used to manage a yoga studio will not require as much training as software used to manage an entire fitness complex with multiple different facilities. As a result, the available training for the software that you choose will play a key role in how effective it is for your business.

8. Support for you and the customer.

Before making the decision to buy any gym management software, check what support channels are included and when they are available. A provider that offers a good support service will be available immediately whenever you have a question or a problem.

9. Consider whether the price is within your budget.

Check your business plan to see how much money you have to invest in gym management software. If you are not sure whether you can justify the expense, calculate an estimate of how much time you will save to see what your return on investment could be.

Main functionalities that all software should have.

Now that you have seen the key things to consider before buying gym management software it is time to think about what functionalities you need. As we have already mentioned, it will dpeend on your invidiual fitness centre and your needs as a manager, but as a general rule, all gym management software should include the following basic functionalities:

  • Customer administration. All gym management software starts with administrative tasks. These include handling personal data, subscriptions, billing, bookings and performance statictics.
  • Automated payment process. The less cash you have to handle in your fitness centre, the more headaches you will avoid. All gym software should include a payment system so that users can be billed and make payments automatically.
  • Online bookings and purchases. Being able to make bookings and purchases online is another basic function that all gym software should include. In fact, this functionality will be the one that saves you the most time.
  • Reports and analytics. Reports and analytics will help you to make your gym more efficient and profitable.
  • Marketing and communications. Maintaining good communication with your users is vital, so you will definitely want to choose a software package that helps you to do this effectively.

Choosing gym management software can be daunting at first. The best way to make your choice easier is to think carefully about your personal needs and the needs of your fitness centre. Once you have done this, you will be ready to start looking at a gym management software. We hope that this guide will help you to make the right choice.